Hostels are one way of making travel cheaper. No, hostels are not just for young people. I have been in hostels with college kids as well as senior citizens. A hostel is simply an establishment which provides inexpensive food and lodging for travelers. Hostels come in various styles and levels just like hotels so you will find everything from a hole in the wall hostel to beautiful luxury hostels. My goal is to encourage everyone who has a desire to travel to do so. Some people think travel is only reserved for the rich, but I’m here to dispel that myth. My real story is that I have traveled the world with less than $2 in the bank. Hostels are one way of making travel cheaper. No, hostels are not just for young people. I have been in hostels with college kids as well as senior citizens. A hostel is simply an establishment which provides inexpensive food and lodging for travelers. Hostels come in various styles and levels just like hotels so you will find everything from a hole in the wall hostel to beautiful luxury hostels.[/vc_column_text]
My first experience staying in a hostel was during my first solo trip abroad back in 2004.
I had no idea what to expect, but once I arrived, I was definitely pleasantly surprised. It looked more like an apartment building than a hostel. There were a set of bunk beds in each room along with an ensuite bathroom. We shared our rooms with only one other person so it wasn’t bad at all. The only thing missing was a TV so I started blogging in 2004 because I was bored. The blog is still somewhere out there on the world wide web. I’m sure I could find it if I tried. I even took amazing pictures and posted them to MySpace. Remember MySpace?
My first luxury hostel was Maya Papaya in Guatemala. When I walked in the door, my jaw literally dropped. This place rivaled some top hotels that I’ve visited. It had the most beautiful outdoor space that was draped beautifully with lights and drops of bright colors spread about. If you are not already impressed, just wait until you walk into the living quarters. The first thing you see is the library with the perfect colors and lighting for reading along with beautiful décor. Then there’s a dining/lounge area with the most simple and elegant beauty. The bedrooms are classic, sophisticated and almost regal. If that wasn’t enough, the owners are amazing and put every effort into making sure your trip is fun and perfectly crafted.
As I was walking down the street one night, I saw this really cute and trendy building so I walked in the door and low and behold it was another luxury hostel. It is called Adra Hostel, and it was barely a week old. When I came back from the lake, I decided to spend a night there. It was quite beautiful, and they also boasted an amazing rooftop and had a restaurant with a top chef from San Francisco on staff. My experience in Guatemala was so amazing that from then on out, I have tried to find luxury hostels wherever I have gone. Now I’m bringing some of my favorites to you.
Just so you know, not all hostels are created equal so you still have to do some leg work to find the best fit for you even among the luxury hostels. Take your time, and be sure you’re making the right choice because you don’t want to find yourself in a bad situation and having to look for a new place on the fly. Below are the top things to look at when evaluating a hostel.
- Read EVERY review to see if the things that are important to you are mentioned. For me, they must have strong WiFi because I work online, and I love to watch Netflix at night.
- Make sure the hostel is located within walking distance from places you would like to frequent. For me, I like to be near the happening areas so I don’t have to walk far or take a cab too late at night.
- Always google which areas are the most posh parts of town, and look for hostels in that area.
- Find out where the expats live, they typically live in safe areas.
- Look at every picture you can find on the internet and across multiple sites so you can properly evaluate the facility.
- Some really good hostels will not be on hostel sites like Hostelworld. Some of them, like Adra hostel, which caters to an older crowd, are found on places like Booking.com and Expedia so make sure you look around thoroughly before making your final selection.
- Sometimes when hostels are booked on general sites, you can go to their website to find available space.
- Go to travel groups or ask your friends for their advice.
- Do a google search for best hostels for the city you will be visiting.
- If you are a solo traveler, make sure your hostel has great lounges for mingling and hosts events and tours. The best and cheapest tours can be found at hostels.
Now that you know what to look for in a hostel, I’d like to share with you a list of some of the dopest hostels in the world. These hostels will set the standard for you so if you have never stayed in a hostel before these should be among your first.